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5 Signs That Show Me I'm in BPD Recovery

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It will be some time before I can consider myself recovered from borderline personality disorder (BPD) — if ever. I may always have more intense emotions than most people, but I am better than I was. Here are some of the ways I can tell I am recovering.

1. I’m writing fewer self-deprecating diary entries.

I haven’t written one of these for a month and nowadays, they are few and far between. I used to write reams of this stuff every day when I was really ill.

2. I haven’t self-harmed in a while.

Or even felt like doing it that often. It still runs through my mind when someone says something slightly critical of me or if I’m upset about something, but the urges are a lot less than they were before and I haven’t given into them for a while. Something happened today and I wanted to self-harm but I didn’t, instead I took some sweets out of my crisis box and ate them instead. Even a few months ago I would have self-harmed. But today, I resisted.

3. I’m getting more positive attention than negative attention, and I’m enjoying that.

At my worst, I wanted people to feel sorry for me constantly, to worry about me, as I felt that meant they cared. So I would talk about my problems all the time and hurt myself and other bad things like that. Now, I don’t want to draw attention to my illnesses all the time and I am finding enjoyment from positive attention instead. People congratulating me on having some of my writing published and for finishing my first novel. The yoga teacher at my gym wanting me to be a handstand model in her class as I apparently have “the perfect technique.” My wife, friends and manager saying they’re proud of me for putting the effort into getting better.

4. I actually want to get better.

I still have times when my brain tells me maybe if I were to get worse again I would get more attention from people. Sometimes I do wish I was sicker again. But mostly I want to get better, and I went through months of really not wanting that at all as I didn’t want to lose that attention.

5. I’m trying to learn from my mistakes.

I lost my best friend when I was at my sickest because of my behavior. Recently I’ve made a new friend who I can feel myself getting close to, but I am determined not to repeat the same mistakes. I’m being careful not to be too needy and to not spend all the time talking about my problems. I don’t want to drive her away too. I know I can be a good friend and not defined by my BPD.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

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Thinkstock photo via berdsigns.

Originally published: August 7, 2017
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